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The Inquirer (Sampler of Original Motion Picture Scores and Soundtracks)

Bernard Herrmann

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Album Review

This is a supremely delightful compilation of Bernard Herrmann's music from the Preamble catalog, assembled together in chronological order. From the upbeat, rousing strains of the relevant parts of the Citizen Kane score (whence the CD takes its name, as the name of Kane's first newspaper acquisition), through the aria from Salaambo in the Susan Alexander section of the movie, you progress to the wistfully nostalgic music from The Magnificent Ambersons. The similarly textured elegiac sections of the score from The Day the Earth Stood Still are followed by the nearly 20-minute long suite from The Kentuckian. Then comes the rarest piece of music on this disc, Herrmann's exit music for the short film — to be shown in Colonial Williamsburgh — called Williamsburgh: The Story of a Patriot, which is written in a festive 18th century style that seems to come from a place not far from his subsequent score for The Three Worlds of Gulliver. Most of the second half of this disc, however, simply reprints material that was on Label X's old Bernard Herrmann at the Movies collection, consisting of his own recordings of music from Battle of Neretva, Sisters, and Night Digger. It's an enjoyable compilation, well mastered (and very thoroughly annotated), and full of enough surprises to keep even longtime fans of the composer on their toes.


Born: 29 June 1911 in New York, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Bernard Herrmann was arguably the most innovative film composer of the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, even though he actually rejected the term "film composer," preferring to call himself a composer who sometimes wrote film scores. That was an apt description for a musician who, in addition to his film work, also composed works in a variety of other forms including opera, symphony, musical comedy, and concert music, as well as writing extensively for radio and television, while maintaining a concurrent conducting...
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The Inquirer (Sampler of Original Motion Picture Scores and Soundtracks), Bernard Herrmann
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